There’s no gainsaying the fact that pop culture got a unique twist (and boost) when Pop/R&B Singer Beyoncé featured parts of the TEDtalk by Award winning Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her 2013 song, ‘Flawless’. This is no news, yes.
In certain quarters people wondered why Adichie barely mentioned Beyoncé in the interviews she gave in the months following the release of ‘Flawless‘. In some other quarters people wondered if Adichie’s image suffered in anyway by being associate with the singer’s sexually charged clips.
Well, after 3years of declining to answer questions about Beyonce, Adichie – whose TEDTalk ‘We should all be feminists‘ is about to be translated to German, now puts a lid on these speculations in a interview with German Magazine Volskrant.
“In the first place: of course Beyoncé asked permission to use my texts, and I did give her permission. I think she’s lovely and I am convinced that she has nothing but the best intentions. In addition, Beyoncé is a celebrity of the first order and with this song she has reached many people who would otherwise probably never have heard the word feminism, let alone gone out and buy my essay.”
The writer also said she was shocked about how many interview requests she received after the song was released. Literally every major newspaper in the world wanted to speak with her about Beyoncé.
According to Adichie, “I felt such a resentment (laughs loudly). I thought: are books really that unimportant to you? Another thing I hated was that I read everywhere: now people finally know her, thanks to Beyoncé, or: she must be very grateful. I found that disappointing. I thought: I am a writer and I have been for some time and I refuse to perform in this charade that is now apparently expected of me: ‘Thanks to Beyoncé, my life will never be the same again.’ That’s why it didn’t speak about it much.”
Meanwhile, Beyoncé herself has over the years been served some flak for embracing feminism purely as a commercial tool.
Speaking on Beyoncé’s raunchy dressing, and her sometimes sexy/shallow lyrics, Adichie has this to say:
“Her (Beyoncé’s) style is not my style, but I do find it interesting that she takes a stand in political and social issues, since a few years. She portrays a woman who is in charge of her own destiny, who does her own thing, and she has girl power. I am very taken with that.
“Still, her type of feminism is not mine, as it is the kind that, at the same time, gives quite a lot of space to the necessity of men. I think men are lovely, but I don’t think that women should relate everything they do to men: did he hurt me, do I forgive him, did he put a ring on my finger? We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men.
“Put a group of women together and the conversation will eventually be about men. Put a group of men together and they will not talk about women at all, they will just talk about their own stuff. We women should spend about 20 per cent of our time on men, because it’s fun, but otherwise we should also be talking about our own stuff.”
The literary goddess has spoken, and once again her words concerning this issue are simply flawless. Don’t you agree?
In case you never saw the song in which Adichie’s TEDTalk was featured, watch it below: